NCT 127 on Favorite New Album and Crazy Songs on YouTube

NCT 127

NCT 127
Photo: SM entertainment

The nine members of K-pop group NCT 127 agree that among all the songs on their new album, Favorite, the first single “Favorite (Vampire)” is, well, their favorite. “Favorite (Vampire)” is an R&B track full of moody and loving lyrics: “I love you and I love you / I want to hurt even more desperately in this fate.” The song consists of an explosive chorus with layered harmonies and features a gentle hiss sample throughout.

NCT 127 released the repackaged album just a short month after their third full album, Sticker. The album includes all the songs from Sticker plus three new ones, including “Favorite (Vampire)”.

“Favorite (Vampire)” is like day and night compared to their latest single, “Sticker”, an ambitious and raspy song that combines silky harmonies with a catchy flute sample. “Favorite (Vampire)”, which falls more firmly into familiar sonic territory, is a much safer bet as a single.

“Sticker” was a surprisingly bold choice, considering it positioned itself as the band’s return after a one-and-a-half-year hiatus (such a long hiatus is extremely rare in the fast-paced K-pop industry). But the prolonged hiatus between Favorite and the March 2020 version of NCT 127, Neo Zone, turned out to be an asset. When the members got together again and started working on the new album, they were able to be more deliberate with their creativity and decision making. “I actually think because we took a year off we were all very busy and ready to dive right into the album,” band member Johnny explained. The AV Club.

“We really entered the album with a lot of energy, and I feel like the album took a long time as well, so the quality of the album was very good and high,” he continues. . “I feel like because we had a year to make the album, it was really well balanced.”

“Well balanced” is a good way to describe Favorite. The music of NCT 127 can be clearly divided into two categories: “noise” music (which includes brassy samples and fast rap verses) and pieces with a high R&B content (usually ballads with crisp harmonies and adjectives). -voice libs).

The failure on Favorite is about half and half, with notable tracks like “Lemonade” and “Bring The Noize” and sweet and moving tunes like “Magic Carpet Ride” and “Focus”. Jungwoo is eager to spotlight another personal favorite, “Pilot”, whom he says he loves for his “very easy to listen” qualities. “With it, you can really hear the charm and personality of each member,” he adds.

When Neo Zone released on March 6, 2020, it will only be a week before the whole world comes to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, most of the album’s promotional campaign, which included a full tour of North American arenas, was dropped. But the canceled tour is not forgotten. “We have two albums that have never been in concert before,” says Mark, referring to Neo Zone and its subsequent repackaging Neo Zone: the final round. “Two complete albums.”

It’s almost easy to forget that NCT 127 toured with these records because for a while last year their single “Kick It” was so ubiquitous. The members say that of all their songs, this is the one they are most looking forward to playing live.

Although concerts and tours are coming back to life, NCT 127, like many other artists, has wanted to find a way to stay connected with their fans over the past year or so. This arguably explains why the group’s already prolific YouTube channel has become even more robust.

Variety shows and similar content have a rich history in the K-pop industry. Appearance of groups in shows like Idol of the week, Know the brothers., and the most recent MMTG, where the artists are convinced to play extravagant games and answer wacky interview questions, are a way for these pop idols to alter their usually flawless and carefully polished personalities.

In addition to appearing on such shows, many groups will use their YouTube channels to broadcast even more varied content for fans. NCT YouTube channel 127 is a bit of a different beast. Although the band members play traditional games, they also created a few recurring series. The group shows great attention to detail and a fierce commitment to the bit.

NCT 127’s channel includes shows like “Johnny’s Communication Center”, where Johnny goes on an adventure or experiences something new to himself, sometimes accompanied by another member. In one episode, he and Mark try their hand at aerial yoga. In another, he asks Mark and WayV’s NCT subunit member Ten to join him in a disastrous Christmas cookie-making session. During the most recent episode, Johnny goes escalation and learns that he is, surprisingly, not very good at it. In another series, “Master moon cook“Taeil runs his own cooking show and elects some of the members to be his sous chefs.

In addition to these shorter and recurring series, the group will sometimes create long one-off videos. As part of the promotional campaign of Sticker, the group posted “NCIT HouseAnd “Johnny Marky’s Lemonade Stand”. The former basically functioned as a long cosplay, with each of the members acting as if they were typical students. “Johnny Marky’s Lemonade Stand” is a play on their song “Lemonade,” and it features Johnny and Mark offering the drink to each of the band members in exchange for a good chat.

When asked how NCT 127 came up with ideas for their YouTube content, Johnny replied that it all comes down to music. “I feel like a lot of ideas come from the album, from the concept of the album.” But he gives even more credit to the band’s film crew, who are with the members most of the time. “What makes the content really good and fun is the fact that we have our own crew filming us, so we’re in a very comfortable environment to say what we want or how we feel. We have the confidence. necessary to say what we want and that’s why all of our content is funny.

Mark intervenes: “It’s so natural. And genuine.

“It’s very real,” adds Johnny, before confirming that most of the dialogue in their videos is unscripted.

When asked if they could share any fun or memorable moments on set, Johnny recalls, “Well, recently on ‘Johnny Marky’s Lemonade Stand’ we used a green screen, but the point is Mark had green hair … “

When asked if they could pick their favorite NCT 127 YouTube video, Jungwoo and Mark both responded without hesitation. “The next NEO model», Where the group pretends to be young hopefuls on a ModelStyle reality show, is Jungwoo’s choice. For Mark, it’s the “NCIT House” college ensemble. He’s also teasing some of the upcoming videos. “We filmed content for Favorite it’s going to happen soon and I feel like it was also very weird but funny at the same time and I feel like that’s what the fans love the most, ”he says. “It really fits our concept but at the same time it brings humor to the screen and that’s the main point.”

The visuals of the music “Favorite (Vampire)” are undoubtedly overdone. Members wear luxurious and impeccably tailored outfits, including dazzling military-style jackets. They also have golden eyes and fangs. The new video demonstrates quite concretely the importance of the group’s YouTube channel.

Some fans worry that spending so much effort on non-music videos will take away time that would otherwise be spent working on new albums. However, NCT 127 has managed to strike a delicate balance. Using its videos to be more daring and creative, NCT 127 takes a similar approach when it’s time to work on new music. It is a happy marriage, with the creative production of an effort harmoniously informing the other.

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